Saturday, September 29, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up–September 28–Week 5

I was thinking about the point of doing a weekly wrap-up this week, and I really like what Carisa said at the top of her weekly wrap-up post. It’s a way to throw together some random things that I happen to capture or remember from this week in school.

This week, she proved to me that she has, in fact, memorized her first poem from First Language Lessons.

“The Caterpillar”

2012-09-24 Armored Vest (1)We made an “armored vest” like the Israelites would have worn during the time of David. Okay, not at all like it, but it was the best we could do for 1st grade, right? We used a pillowcase and milk jug sides. She punched holes in the top corners and I hand sewed them on.

We started discussing the Skeletal System in Anatomy. The hands-on project was to make a person out of play dough and try to stand it up.

2012-09-26 Anatomy Skeletal System (1)2012-09-26 Anatomy Skeletal System (3)

Of course it fell over. Then we made another one, this time with toothpicks inside as a “skeleton”

2012-09-26 Anatomy Skeletal System (7)Hey, look! That one is standing up!

We went to the farm on Wednesday as a field trip for tot school. More about that later. For now, here’s my sweet girl with her new pink parasol (really just an umbrella). It was a drizzly day, so of course she had to bring it.

2012-09-26 The Farm (12)

Thursday she had co-op and made two lyres, one on a hanger and the other on a shoe box, both with rubber bands. I didn’t get any pictures before they were played to their demise.

Friday and today, she’s camper camping in Rocky Mountain National Park with my mom and step-dad. I love that she gets to have adventures by herself, even if I am a bit jealous.


Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–Music Together CD & Songbook

Speak Up Saturday


Music. I think all kids like music. At least all the ones that I know. Young ones especially love to make random noises (vocabules) with their mouths and turn it into music. My kids do, anyway, do yours?

Enter Music Together. I was given the opportunity to review their Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook for Teachers.

Here’s what they say about Music Together:

Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age 7—and the grownups who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.

Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learningPhotobucket.

As soon as we received it, I popped the CD in the car CD player, and the kids instantly *loved* it! From the first “Hello” song through the catchy songs using nonsense words like “Biddy Biddy Bum” and classics like “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” all the way to “Goodbye, So Long, Farewell”, it’s been an instant hit and much requested by my kids. And, honestly, me too. I find myself singing the songs as I go about my day with the kids.

After I had been listening to the CD for a few weeks, I finally got to reading the songbook, and found another amazing resource! The songbook starts with pages about how to teach a variety of types of students with practical suggestions for class as a whole as well as specific songs. Then it moves into the songs that are included on the CD and suggestions for activities for each one. It also includes a bit of background for each song, which I found interesting.

With the amount of thought that obviously went into each song chosen for this CD, I was intrigued and went to find a bit more information about the classes. At about the same time, I received a flyer for classes in my area…what a coincidence! I contacted the director of the local Music Together studio and here’s what she had to say:

The Music Together Program in its entirety contains 9 different CD and songbook collections (so three years worth of material!) Music Together Directors/Teachers also take in-depth/ongoing training so a class experience offers a deeper understanding of musical development and the music itself. I have had homeschoolers in my classes before and would be happy to offer an introductory discount to homeschooling families. I offer classes in Boulder and Fort Collins. I am also happy to coordinate a class just for homeschooled families if there is enough interest. Families can contact me, Jane Smolens, at or (303)413-1120 or (970)495-1120. Families can contact me to find out the coupon code to waive the registration fee as an introductory discount.

So with all that said, you can guess that we give this product 5 stars :) The songs are fun, musically interesting, and well thought out. The whole program looks amazing, and I am really considering joining a class with my kids. Oh, and did I mention that they could all take a class together? Bonus!


You can get the Music Together Family Favorites CD for $9.99 download version or $14.95 plus shipping for the physical CD.

The Songbook for Teachers is $29.95 plus shipping OR buy the set for $39.95, which is a $5 discount.

They have several other products available for purchase as well, like egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and other CDs, so go check it out!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wordful Wednesday–Kid’s Room

So, a few months ago, we decided to move Kahlen down into the basement. It was to give her a private space and so the boys could hopefully be more successful in sharing a room. Well, it didn’t work as well as we had planned. Shane has still been sleeping in the living room in the pack’n’play, and Kahlen’s “room” just isn’t meant to be a bedroom. It was this weird space between the stairs and the back of the house, which is the office.

It was going okay, but not ideal, until one night. Hubby usually gives the kids a blessing before going to bed. One night, he completely forgot to give Kahlen her blessing because she was in the basement. Add to that the fact that we’ve been giving Nate a small dose of melatonin with great success. So over the weekend, we moved her bed and dresser back upstairs. It’s going well so far, we’ve had a few later nights, but overall they’ve enjoyed being together again.

2012-09-21 Kids Moving Mattress (2)The kids “moving” the mattress.

2012-09-21 Reading Stories (2)

Story time. Notice Shane in the crib. He thinks this game is *awesome*


Linking up at:

imageBetter in Bulkimage

Tots and Me

Tot School–Feelings

Tot School

Nathanael is currently 39 months (or 3 1/3, if that’s easier for you)

Because of my crazy week, we only had one day of school. But it was a good day! We were able to do a lot, and the finished product was great fun. Thanks to Carisa at 1+1+1=1, the printables and activities were pretty much planned for me! She has created this great Tot Book all about feelings, hooray!

Here’s my plan sheet for the week (day). Click here to get a printable version instead.

Theme: Feelings

Day 1:_______________

Verse Song:

Joyful Heart by Steve Green


Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day

Hurty Feelings

When You Are Happy






If You’re Happy and You Know It

If You’re Happy and You Know It


Matching Emotions Outside

Cubes: PE


Happy Face Rice Cakes

Video: Where's God When I'm Scared?

Supplies Lists

To Print:

·         Lapbook Pieces

To Gather/Purchase:

·         Rice Cakes

·         Peanut Butter

·         Apples

·         Fruit Leather

Extra Printouts

·         Mini-Book: Feelings and Faces

·         Feelings Easy Reader

2012-09-17 Feelings Tot School (3)2012-09-17 Feelings Tot School (5)Tilly making a mad face and an excited face

2012-09-17 Feelings Tot School (6)Nate making a mad face (which is pretty accurate, haha)

2012-09-17 Feelings Tot School (7)Happy Face Rice Cake snack

2012-09-17 Feelings Tot School (8)Playing with matching emotion cards from the tot book. These squirrely boys do much better if we do a few activities outside!

2012-09-17 Tot School Feelings (1)Nate’s finished Feelings tot book2012-09-17 Tot School Feelings (2)The inside2012-09-17 Tot School Feelings (4)The back…of Kahlen’s. Yup, my first grader wanted to do one too Smile I told her she could if she got her other work done first. She’s supposed to do some independent work during tot school on Mondays (like her math worksheets and a few pages in Explode the Code 3), and she usually dawdles. Not this day! She really wanted to do it with us, so she did her work quickly and completely.

That’s about it. I didn’t get any pictures of the other crafts we did not on co-op day. I printed the Feelings Easy Reader with 4 to a page and had Nate cut them out for scissor practice, but then we didn’t really do anything else with it.

So, what did you do for tot school?


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up–September 21–Week 4

I posted last week that I knew this week was going to be crazy busy, I just didn’t realize exactly how busy! I survived the consignment sale, but just barely; the good thing, though, was I was able to purchase all new wardrobes for Kahlen and Nathanael AND we still have enough money to buy the new bike trailer that we’ve had our eye on for some time, whoohoo! So, we did very little school last week, but we did a few neat things:

For Anatomy, we created a edible cell model using jell-o and various candies.

2012-09-17 Jello Cell Model (7) (Top)2012-09-17 Jello Cell Model (2)(Bottom before I inverted it)

We had cytoplasm (the jell-o), mitochondria (peanut M&Ms), Lysosomes (Skittles), Golgi bodies (Gummi Lifesavers), Endoplasmic Reticulum (Fruit Leather), some with Ribosomes (Nerds), Centrioles (Twizzler Pull’n’Peel), and a Nucleus (Gobstopper). Nate watched. Kahlen did most of it. Then they ate it, which was a special treat because I hardly ever (like, this may be the first time for them) make jell-o.

2012-09-17 Jello Cell Model (9)2012-09-17 Jello Cell Model (11)2012-09-17 Jello Cell Model (12)

Hmm, I guess that’s only one neat thing. We did complete math, spelling, and a flip book of definitions for anatomy.

2012-09-21 Anatomy Flip Book (3) (Picture taken with my phone, sorry!)

That’s about all we got done last week. This week is shaping up to be a much calmer week, thank goodness! We are taking a field trip for tot school tomorrow, but if everything goes according to plan (haha), we’ll still have time before and after for regular school.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Speak Up Saturday–TOS Review–Family Time Fitness

Speak Up Saturday


Okay, so I know Kahlen is only five, but I’ve been thinking about how to help her with coordination and develop her large motor skills. She is active and fairly athletic, but lacks coordination. Enter Family Time Fitness. Now, I don’t see myself as not being able to teach PE, or come up with ideas, but it certainly is nice to just have a well-laid out plan and be able to follow it with very little prep. Especially since I have a tot schooler and a baby around, I just don’t have the time to come up with well-rounded, well-prepared PE lessons. Nor do I want to just sign her up for classes or sports since that will actually take more time, driving back and forth, etc.

Here’s what they say about their program:

Have you ever asked yourself...

Can I teach physical education, even though I don’t know anything about it?
Family Time Fitness says: Absolutely!

The Fitness 4 Homeschool Curriculum allows homeschool parents to teach physical education without previous knowledge of physical education and athletic development. Our program, designed by experts in fitness training, nutrition and body movement, is designed to suit every age and ability level while affordably fitting into your budget. Our program combines flexibility and fun with a comprehensive curriculum to give your children a foundation for strong bodies and minds.

We created the Fitness 4 Homeschool curriculum because of a lack of fitness programs for homeschoolers. We started this program because we couldn’t find any at all! With the child obesity epidemic on the rise in the U.S., now is the time to give our children the exercise guidance they need while building the skills necessary to stay fit for a lifetime.

We believe that a PE curriculum is absolutely essential for a balanced homeschool classroom. Our expertly designed program has been created to maximize the benefits of spatial awareness, body awareness, environmental awareness, enhanced neurological development, mind-body coordination, stress reduction, social engagement, poise and confidence.

Each lesson has a one-page summary that you can print to use while you are doing the lesson as well as a detailed description of the lesson/session that includes links to demonstration videos. There are 260 lessons! The lessons are designed for K-8th grade, can mostly be done inside, and take about 25-45 minutes. Each lesson has a warm-up, activity or game play, a cool down, and an outside activity that can be done for as long as you or the student wants to (for example, the first one is jump rope). There is also an assessment test available which you can use to measure progress over the course of the year.

For us, this program will be a ton more useful when I can include Nate in the sessions as well. So many of the activities are way over his skill level for the moment that it made it hard to find a time to do the sessions with just Kahlen. There were some of the activities that I could adapt to make them more useable with a 5 and 3 year old, but some of them are just over both their heads. Kahlen enjoyed the variation within each lesson and from lesson to lesson. She’s not one that likes to keep doing the same thing over and over again, unless of course it was her idea ;) I liked the ease of setting up each lesson and that we could do most of it inside or outside with very little equipment needed.

This curriculum will be something that we will continue to use, and probably for several years. Even if the kids are in sports, that’s not going to be every day and it’s not going to teach them other ways to move their bodies, which is so very important for long term health. I also feel like it’s a good thing for me to do with them! As a mom, I don’t always feel like I have time to get in the physical activity I should be getting for my own well-being. If I do 30 minutes of activities WITH my kids, what better use of my time could there be?


(Sorry, no pictures. It’s hard to take pictures of them while walking like a crab myself) Smile

You can purchase the Fitness 4 Homeschool - Core 1 Physical Education Curriculum K-8 Curriculum for just $57! It is downloadable PDFs which you are free to print or put on your tablet or just look at on your computer.



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product through The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tot School–Me and My Family

Tot School

Nathanael is currently 38.5 months

We had a very successful and normal school week this week! We focused on All About Me on Monday and All About Family on Thursday. I’m still tweaking my plan sheet and how I get it to you. Anyone have any opinions about Google Drive? Do you even want to see my plan sheet or just pictures of the activities that we did? Is anyone out there? Enough talking…here’s my weekly plan sheet for Me and My Family:

Me and My Family

Day 1: All About Me!

Verse Song:

Colossians 3:20




ABC I Like Me

I’m Gonna Like Me

I Like Me


All About Me Mini Book & Worksheets

Full Size Me

Jell-o Name


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes


Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes & Verse


Red Rover

Cubes: Picture Game

Video: Chrysanthemum


First Initial Cheese & Fruit Leather



Me and My Family

Day 2: My Family

Verse Song:

Colossians 3:20




Me and My Family Tree

Mommy Loves Her Baby/Daddy Loves His Baby

Oonga Boonga


Family Tree File Folder & Worksheets

Family Quilt

Family Puppets


He’s Got The Whole World

He’s Got The Whole World & Verse Song


Mommy Says (Simon Says)

Crazy Walk

Video: Because Your Daddy Loves You


People cutouts using tortillas and hummus

Activity: Family Puzzle

Extra Printouts

1.      Coloring Page from picture

2.      First Initial coloring pages

3.      Family Size Sort

To see my supplies list and print the plan sheet, download it here.

Day 1 Pictures:

2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (18)Worksheets

2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (17)Jell-o Name(Glue and powdered jello over printout of name)

2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (5)Name Game: I printed two pictures of each kid and put one set in a Stack n Smile Photo Blocks Stacking Toy. The other picture I put in a circle of yarn. We rolled the cube, then they had to run to that kid’s circle an stand in it.

2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (6)Full Size Me: I traced each kid on a large piece of paper and then let them color it. If we’d had more focus, I’d have let them decorate it more, but coloring it was about all they could handle by this point.

2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (12)Nate was very proud of his picture Smile

Day 2 Pictures:

PicturesDot Painting their initials. They love the dot painting!

Pictures-001Family Puzzles: I printed a plain black and white family picture and another color one on cardstock. I then cut the color one into four pieces and had them lay it over the black and white one. This was just enough of a puzzle for my bunch. They were able to just do it by themselves. Mostly. It was very good practice.


2012-09-10 Tot School All About Me (16)Nate has been enjoying daddy’s new Nexus tablet. His current favorite game is Kid’s Shape Puzzle so we actually bought the full version for once.

Here’s the books we used this week:

This week we are only doing one day because I have a huge consignment sale to get ready (which I already mentioned in my Weekly Wrap-Up Post, but it bears repeating!) If you’re local, be sure to join us on Friday. 9/21, from 10-8 and Saturday, 9/22, from 9-2 for the biggest and best kid’s consignment sale in the area!


Related Posts with Thumbnails